Teenager starts Facebook page against bullying
A Blenheim teenager who left school last year because of bullying has started a Facebook page to combat online bullying after being the victim of a malicious Facebook gossip page.
The 16-year-old, who does not want to be named in case he is further attacked by bullies, left Marlborough Boys' College at the end of Year 10 and is schooled through correspondence.
The idea to set up the page, Stop Bullying Accounts and Pages (SBAP), came after a series of vicious gossip sites on Facebook targeted Blenheim teenagers.
One site, Blenheim Rumours, named individuals, mostly young people, in relation to gossip about cheating, promiscuity and abortion and was up for almost two weeks before it was taken down by a Facebook administrator.
As soon as it was removed, a similar site popped up, the teenager said.
The aim of setting up the anti-bullying page was to get as many "likes" so a mass of people could report the gossip sites to Facebook, he said.
While gossip sites still exist, he is urging the victims of bullying to ignore what is said about them.
"People need to report it, defriend it and ignore it," he said.
"If you don't give it your attention, if no one is looking at it, then there's no point for them to keep writing it."
The rumours and gossip written about him have affected how he lives his life.
"I can get quite nervous meeting new people, and this just makes it worse," he said.
"It makes you not want to go out in public because you don't know what people are thinking."
Educating children about the impact of cyber bullying as early as primary school should be compulsory, he said.
"They try to put stuff up that will humiliate you and even stuff about your family," he said.
"People need to be educated about how to deal with that as well."
His older sister believes the people responsible for the gossip sites are Blenheim teenagers in the 15-17-year age bracket.
They did it because it made them feel better about themselves and because they were bored, she said.
Click to visit SBAP
- The Marlborough Express